The US isn’t the only country facing the coal conundrum, meaning we have plenty of coal, but don’t want to burn it, because it causes pollution and climate change.
On oilprice.com, Charles Kennedy reports that the Australian state of Queensland could become the seventh largest contributor of greenhouse gases on the planet, behind only China, the US, India, Russia, Japan, and Germany, if plans to create nine huge coal mines go through.
Greenpeace Australia analyzed the proposed mines and found that they would release an extra 705 million tons of carbon dioxide every year. The International Energy Agency describes this as "catastrophic."
But Greenpeace reports that the mines will only be completely developed and operate at full capacity if global demand for coal continues to grow. "So," Kennedy writes, "the fate of the climate still rests in the hands of the world, and not just Australia."
More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change.
A report commissioned by conducted by the humanitarian organization DARA, which represents 20 governments, said that as global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the planet, such as melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels, will threaten populations and livelihoods.
It calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change, and that toll will rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use continue.More than 90% of those deaths will occur in developing countries, said the report that calculated the human and economic impact of climate change on 184 countries.
In Scientific American, Nina Chestney quotes the report as saying, "A combined climate-carbon crisis is estimated to claim 100 million lives between now and the end of the next decade."